The St. Louis Rams entered last offseason with a plan too. The team wanted to rebuild along the offensive line in order to help their young top draft pick at quarterback from 2010 develop. Unfortunately that is still the plan that the organization brings into this year’s down time, and there are plenty of reasons why things didn’t work out quite as they’d planned in 2012 along the offensive line.
Injuries are the primary culprit.
Center Scott Wells was the big free agent fish that the Rams hooked last offseason and they expected his addition to be a huge upgrade. They had such high hopes for Wells that they cut former center Jason Brown last March in order to save some $2.8 million against the salary cap last year after Brown was signed to a massive five-year, $37.5 million deal that included $20 million in guarantees back in 2009.
Wells was brought on board for four years, $24 million including $13 million in guaranteed money. His addition was supposed to be a great help to the team, but injury forced him to miss the season’s first 10 games. When he returned to the lineup, the help that was originally anticipated came with him as the club went 4-2 down the stretch with Wells on the field.
Obviously injuries marred Wells’ first season in St. Louis and now it seems that the problems just will not go away for the center. Wells underwent surgery this month to repair torn cartilage in his right knee, his third procedure in eight months. His knee was operated on last spring following a Pro Bowl year with the Green Bay Packers and then a foot fracture forced surgery after week 1 of this past season.
Needless to say, Wells is fed up. According to the center: “It’s been a frustrating year for me. This is the first time I’ve had to deal with an injury that has limited my availability. I don’t think I’ve missed more than two games up to this point in my career due to injuries. So, a frustrating year for me with the knee, then the foot, then the knee. But I was able to push through the knee at the end and the foot’s fine. I look forward to an offseason to get healthy. It’s the same knee and it’s just years of abuse playing and it’s just kind of fouled up.”
Those words don’t exactly instill confidence in you if you’re a fan of the Rams. Even after this recent surgery Wells is expected to be ready for workouts in mid-April, but the chronic nature of his injury is certainly cause for concern. Hopefully the injury bug bites a little less in 2013 and the offensive line has sufficient time to gel in front of quarterback Sam Bradford.
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